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One of gaming’s, and certainly on the UK’s, biggest development studios has been shut down. Long running SCE Studio Liverpool, producer of hundreds of famous titles such as Wipeout, Lemmings and Formula 1, is being set aside by owners Sony in a shock announcement.
The news comes from tweets sent out by the former members of the studio. Audio lead Sandy Lobban noted this morning, “End of an era today for Studio Liverpool. Honoured to have been a part of it.” This has since been confirmed by Sony:
“It has been decided that Liverpool Studio should be closed. Liverpool Studio has been an important part of SCE Worldwide Studios since the outset of PlayStation, and have contributed greatly to PlayStation over the years. Everyone connected with Liverpool Studio, past and present, can be very proud of their achievements.
However, it was felt that by focusing our investment plans on other Studios that are currently working on exciting new projects, we would be in a stronger position to offer the best possible content for our consumers. Our Liverpool Facility will continue to operate, housing a number of other vital WWS and SCEE Departments.”
It’s sad news in particular for the UK games industry as Studio Liverpool has long been one of the country’s most beloved and groundbreaking developers. From the company’s early days as Psygnosis to their acquisition by Sony and ever-growing popularity in to the modern day, Studio Liverpool remained at the heart of UK game development industry. SCE Studio Liverpool is perhaps most famous for the Wipeout and Lemmings franchises, of which it developed and published respectively. Personally, the early PS1 and PS2 Formula 1 games, as well as the brilliant Destruction Derby, are studio highlights, but I’m sure almost everyone has enjoyed a Studio Liverpool title.
Player Affinity would like to extend our best wishes to anyone affected by this news. Here’s hoping this doesn’t spell the end of an entire development era.